Tick

Share
0

I dashed down a dim corridor, no windows and no doors and no end and no end and no end until the walls caved in all around me, they fell inside me, but I couldn’t feel a thing except the way my chest rose and fell in time with the ticking that I’d been following, you see that’s why I was there in the first place, I’d come for the tick tick tick tick ticking ‘cause it wouldn’t stop and I have a fear of clocks, you see, and shutting my ears wouldn’t shut up that ticking so I had to shut it up myself, it was coming from the end of the corridor, but now there was no corridor, now there was nothing at all and the ticking was still there, and it had gotten louder, do you hear me, it had gotten LOUDER, CAN YOU HEAR ME above all that noise, I’m saying IT HAD GOTTEN LOUDER, so loud that it drowned out my breathing and my heart beating and my scars bleeding, oh God I had to look twice, my scars bleeding, yes, my scars bleeding, they were bleeding ‘cause the tick tick ticking made me scratch, it made me scratch again for the first time in months, or maybe seconds or years because time doesn’t pass the way it should when you’re nothing and there’s nothing around you, but it doesn’t matter all I’m trying to tell you is that it was like someone had cut me open all over again, but it didn’t hurt and I couldn’t hear the dripping because the tick tick ticking was getting louder again, and this time I didn’t want to yell above the noise, I just wanted to become a mouse and sneak between the cracks until I found my way out, but you see, I’d been in this corridor for years, in the nothing even longer, and I’d been a mouse before, yes, I’d been a mouse a hundred times before, but (lean in closer, I don’t want to yell again) the thing is (lean in, goddamn it) I still haven’t found the exit or even a place to hide, I SAID LEAN IN I SAID LEAN IN, I can’t even find a place to hide in here from the tick tick ticking, because you see, I have a fear of clocks and shutting my ears wouldn’t shut up that ticking so I have to shut it up myself, or become a mouse and find a place to hide, or a place to escape, like the windows or doors, THE WINDOWS OR DOORS THAT’S IT, I dropped my bleeding body to the floor and crawled into a new one, then I turned a corner and I dashed down a dim corridor, no windows and no doors and no end and no end and no end.

 

Ingrid Llambi

Early Harvest 2014

Short Story 3rd Place